Most undergraduate students would run away from the idea of volunteering 40 hours a week of their time on top of classes, studying and other student activities – but not Colin Quinn. Colin came to Ohio State University in 2014 with no idea what a Dance Marathon was, but he quickly became involved with BuckeyeThon after learning about it as a freshman. Having lost a friend to pediatric cancer as a child, Colin’s involvement for the kids passionately grew and grew over his four years in the organization: from a new General Body member to Executive Secretary to Vice President of Outreach and Engagement, all the way to President in 2017-2018. Now, attending medical school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and working in a research lab on pediatric cancer, the impact of BuckeyeThon on Colin’s journey at and after Ohio State is undeniable.
“It teaches you a way to think of things from a new perspective that no other experience on Ohio State’s campus will teach you, especially with working with people and how to solve really tough problems,” he said. “We’re undergraduate students running a million-dollar nonprofit."
From balancing a busy schedule and valuing the unique contributions of each member of a team, Colin learned many lessons about how to be a better leader and student from his BuckeyeThon experience. Countless friendships, memories and miracles were made as well. “You’re truly changing the world when you’re in BuckeyeThon,” he said. From General Body Members to Team Members, every student involved in BuckeyeThon learns they have an impact on the world around them and on kids fighting pediatric cancer and blood disorders. That mindset of believing you can change the world carries Colin through his life.
“Not only are you impacting kids that you might not know and their futures,” he said. “But you, as a student, are also impacting yourself because you grow in insurmountable ways working towards a common mission to make the world a better place.”